The fun thing about what we do at Parse & Parcel, is getting to see glimpses of projects as we consult on paper and production. And rebranding projects are some of our favorites – especially those that take special consideration of the details. Our friends at the Studio of Christine Wisnieski share some insights into their process, and beautiful details, for the Harness Cycle rebrand.
So apparently shrieking in the middle of a sales office is a no-no. Sometimes I forget people are actually behind the cubes working as I am walking through to the sample studio. But I couldn’t help it. I just opened up the box Neenah sent and inside were the brand new Touché Papers swatch books. It’s not that I’m unfamiliar with the grade – but this is the first swatch book since Neenah acquired the grade. And I have to say, they’ve made some stunning additions to the offering. While the colors are gorgeous, wait until you experience the soft-touch finish of Touché Papers.
The Design Collection by Neenah features luxuriously tactile and colored papers available for commercial printing. It houses 15 different papers in one place, and features a richly colored grades like Stardream, Esse, Oxford, So…Silk, Plike, Slide, Astroking and Wild. That’s only half the story. Texture is the other word synonymous with The Design Collection. With finishes like Canvas, Felt, Pearlized, Heavy Vellum, Hi-Tech and Diffused, creatives have plenty to choose from. Options are good, right? Sometimes it makes it difficult to decide exactly what paper to use with a specific technique. That’s one reason why we love samples so much. Creatives and clients alike are visual. Thankfully, there’s Neenah’s new lookbook, The Design Collection – Surface Issue.
It’s no secret we’re big fans of the National Stationery Show. So when our friends at Legion Paper asked if Parse & Parcel would like to participate in this year’s promotion, we jumped at the chance. Last year was the first time we partnered with them on the promo and had a blast with it. For this year’s promo, Show Us Your Money, participants got to create their own money to help celebrate the occasion.
Planning a wedding can be stressful. All those details that make an event so special can also be extremely overwhelming. Things like the perfect venue, caterer or invitations can make the most laid back couple want to elope. Now imagine you’re the groom who’s family also happens to make some of the most sought after papers in the print and design industry, talk about pressure! Brian French, the sixth generation of family-owned French Paper, is the groom I’m speaking of. And all I know is these were wedding invitations fit for a paper maker!
French Paper is known in the industry for its iconic branding. Their paper samples are highly sought after works by throughout the print and design community. So I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Brian and his bride to select the perfect paper, print and design details to announce their big day.
With each issue of The Parcel, we like to include samples of “real-life” projects to demonstrate what is possible even under real-life constraints. We found a beautiful example we included in the summer issue of The Parcel. Oberlin Illuminated is an elegant, high-end photo book commemorating the end of a seven-year, $317-million fundraising campaign titled Oberlin Illuminate.
I start my workday pretty much the same way, by grabbing a sheet of paper and scrawling out all the things I want to accomplish. My method is to write down everything in my head. Once it’s on paper I can stop obsessing and start working. Of course I am overly ambitious, and by Friday my desk is cluttered with piles of half completed lists. I needed a better way to plan my workday and projects. I tried tons of analog options. After spending a small fortune on pretty, but non-functional planners, I was at a loss. Nothing worked for what I needed. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and am so excited to share Parse & Parcel’s very first stationery endeavor – The Planner.
Most people think great design is the key to producing amazing print.
Great design is only half the battle. In my opinion, the reason many print projects fail isn’t because of the design. It’s because of a lack of detail.
Designers who are known for creating amazing print design, are involved in every aspect of the process – from concept through to production. And that includes specifying and sometimes even sourcing the paper.
For some of you, this may seem like a no brainer. But I’d ask you, how often are you settling for the printer’s house sheet on your work? Be honest. When was the last time you actually had work produced on the paper you envisioned using and specified for the job?
You can blame it on a lack of budget, availability issues, or a tight deadline. Those are just excuses. Every print project faces those same challenges.
The truly memorable, award winning work excels not in spite of, but because of those challenges.
For Parse & Parcel, 2016 was a year filled with inspiration, experimentation, collaboration – and change.
We hosted three events in the sample studio, complete with three large-scale paper installations. Added a new intern to our team. We traveled back and forth to NYC, first to judge the Louie Awards, then later for the National Stationery Show. Connected with design and paper peeps in Atlanta for How Design Live. We got to be a sponsor for AIGA’s Get Out the Vote campaign. We revamped the delivery for our flagship product, The Parcel – shipping four times a year (winter, spring, summer, fall). Learned all about digital metallic inks, tried our hands at letterpress and wrote articles for some of our fave online, and print, publications.
You would think this would be enough to do for one year but not quite…
I started collecting stationery as a kid in the 70’s. Back then the selection of available stationery was not nearly what it is today. I had a shoe box full of paper ephemera, most of it featuring the likes of Betsey Clark and Suzie Angel. I had no idea what went into producing these gems, I just knew I liked the cute characters and colors they featured. Fast forward forty years to the 2016 National Stationery Show and I found myself lucky enough to be a part of the NSS Class of 70 trading card promotion by Legion Paper – and I loved every single minute of it!